USAID generally undertakes direct assistance programs to benefit developing countries through competitive grants and cooperative agreements. This ensures that all activities are concentrated on specific objectives to maximize impact and that they are consistent, mutually reinforcing, and draw support from the best available sources.
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USAID Grants for Local NGOs
USAID recognizes that non-governmental organizations (NGOs), both U.S.-based and local, are often at the forefront of meeting human need on a local level. USAID funds NGOs both directly and indirectly to fulfill specific country goals in every region and sector.
Research other NGOs working in your same issue area and region for potential collaboration. USAID looks to fund projects that show collaboration between small NGOs and also projects which involve sub-partners, or implementing partners. Often the fastest track to USAID funding for an NGO is through an existing partner (who would serve as an intermediary) as a sub-grantee. This can happen one of two ways:
- Asking a prime partner to sub-grant funding to you from an existing grant or cooperative agreement
- Asking a prime partner to write you into a new proposal to USAID as a sub-grantee.
Visit Grants.gov to find and apply for federal grants. You may want to sign up for the International GrantStation Insider. This monthly newsletter provides the latest information on new funding programs and upcoming grant deadlines, as well as general information that benefit all grant-seekers.
USAID Contracts for Local Businesses
To be eligible to compete for USAID funds, your company must secure the following registrations. They are free, but it takes time and preparation to complete each registration correctly.
- Data universal numbering system (DUNS) identification
- Commercial and Government Entity (CAGE) code (for U.S. organizations) or NATO Commercial and Government Entity (NCAGE) code (for non-U.S. organizations)
- System for Award Management (SAM) registration.
When USAID posts solicitations, notices of contract opportunities and corresponding solicitations are available at SAM.gov, the single source for federal procurement opportunities. Notices of federal grant and cooperative agreement opportunities for project funding are listed there.
USAID Advice on Winning New Funding
Get to Know USAID.
Visit the Where We Work page to see if USAID and your organization are currently working in the same country. USAID plays an active and critical role in the promotion of U.S. foreign policy interests through its assistance programs. Investments happen through USAID Missions in over 80 countries. Ensure that your organization’s goals align with the USAID priorities for that country.
Establish a relationship with the USAID Mission in the countries where you work; set up meetings with them and invite them to see your operation. Around 80 percent of all USAID funding is disseminated through Missions. You may also want to talk to officials at USAID headquarters in Washington who focus on specific issues that work through one of the Operating Units or Bureaus.
Visit WorkwithUSAID.org which helps prospective and existing partners access innovative tools and resources so they can learn how to better compete for funding. Read about ongoing programs and successful development partnerships.
USAID New Partners Initiative
USAID New Partners Initiative seeks to lower the barriers faced by nontraditional partners—including local actors, U.S. small businesses, faith-based organizations, cooperatives, diaspora groups, and civil society organizations—so that the Agency can embrace the diverse potential of the partnering community in pursuit of our shared development goals.
NPI strives to increase locally-led development with support to prospective partners in overcoming the informational imbalance typically faced by groups that have not directly received USAID funding when they compete with organizations that have. NPI helps make Agency information, resources, and funding opportunities more transparent and accessible to all of our potential partners.
Check the Business Forecast.
USAID issues a Business Forecast that shares some of the opportunities we will be making available throughout the year from our Washington D.C. headquarters and from Missions worldwide.
Sign up for Notification Services.
Information on how to register for notification services can be found on the SAM.gov and Grants.gov home pages. You will receive notices on pre-solicitation materials, the solicitation itself, modifications to solicitations, and general procurement announcements.
Note US Federal Regulations & Policies
If you wish to work with USAID as a development partner in any location around the world, you must be familiar with U.S. federal regulations that govern the way USAID conducts its business.
- USAID executes all direct procurement in accordance with ADS 302, the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR), and USAID’s supplement to the FAR, the USAID Acquisition Regulation (AIDAR).
- USAID executes assistance in accordance with ADS 303, 2 CFR 200, and 2 CFR 700.
More Funding Opportunities
Do you want to apply for USAID grants for humanitarian aid projects? Get startup investments for a technology business? Or learn how to win more contracts? Then please sign up now to get our email updates. We are constantly publishing new funding opportunities every Monday.